MetroPCS Wireless, Inc. has plans to release a Samsung smartphone later this year that will be able to tune in to live television broadcasts from local stations. This announcement makes MetroPCS the first cellphone company to offer such a feature.
The projected cost of the TV-capable phones has not been released, nor is it known if MetroPCS plans to charge a monthly access fee for broadcasts. The phones will have an extendable antenna and will receive retransmitted, lower-resolution "Mobile DTV" signals, which are reportedly already in use by 72 stations in 32 cities to reach some portable TV sets.
With 9.1 million subscribers, MetroPCS is the fifth-largest U.S. cellphone company. MetroPCS primarily markets its business to big cities and low-income households with contractless, low flat-rate plans.